Planning A Funeral? Purchase Your Casket At Costco

I’m not easy to market to. I’m loyal to few brands. I shun most advertising.  I’m a jaded consumer. (I think that’s what makes me more effective as a marketer.)

Which is why I love Costco, the wholesale warehouse club. I can get good deals on a huge variety of necessities and luxuries. I feel like Costco is on my side – doing deals with manufacturers of good products to benefit me. Importantly, Costco doesn’t aggressively market to me in irrelevant ways. In fact, Costco is there when I want it, and otherwise out of my face. At the risk of appearing like a pathetic suburban dad, that is why Costco has become a weekly ritual and a part of my life. I even browse the member magazine regularly.

But there’s another side to this story: Costco is attempting to be relevant through all life stages. After stocking up last Sunday on diapers, baby wipes, Brita filters, organic milk and cleaning supplies, I stumbled into the club’s new casket display, positioned next to the window-shade and tire displays. (I also discovered you can purchase caskets direct from

At first, I laughed. Yet it underscored an important idea: organized buying groups (like Costco members) will continue to advance commodification in ways we never thought possible. On one hand, I like the access, choice and savings. However, there is something perverse about such wide product expansion, from cradle to casket. What does that say about life and consumerism? I’m not sure, but it’s concerning.

For the record, I don’t intend to be buried in a casket. I prefer cremation. I’m sure Costco will offer that soon as well.

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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